LA Mayor vows big boost for small business following BizFed campaign

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LOS ANGELES (June 22, 2023) – Business leaders united by the Los Angeles County Business Federation “BizFed” cheered Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass’s latest efforts to uplift small enterprise, and stepped up to help identify gaps that can be filled with private sector resources.

Bass issued an executive directive Thursday to create a steering committee charged with improving the city’s business environment, especially for small and microbusiness owners. The mayor’s expansive, cross-departmental plan comes on the heels of relentless BizFed advocacy for streamlined business permitting and a review of costs of doing business in Los Angeles.

“We’re particularly pleased with Mayor Bass’s leadership on the job creation front because her plan directly addresses small business concerns that our recent polling shows have pushed employers out of California. This executive directive is an investment in the city’s homegrown talent and a roadmap to create better conditions for success,” said Tracy Hernandez, Founding CEO of BizFed.

Bass’s Executive Directive 4 (ED 4) establishes the Los Angeles Local Business Steering Committee (LABSC). Representatives from various city departments will sit on the committee, led by the Mayor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. The steering committee will:

  • Review business taxes and fees. Examine how the cost of doing business in Los Angeles impacts small business owners. Identify reasonable reductions that can be made to promote business growth.
  • Reduce delays associated with starting new businesses, expanding existing businesses and contracting with the city by modernizing government processes.
  • Compare the local business climate to cities attracting more employers and investments in recent years. Pinpoint what’s working in other jurisdictions and determine best practices for Los Angeles.

The executive directive includes solutions BizFed leaders proposed to Deputy Mayor for Business and Economic Development Rachel Freeman, former co-chair of BizFed’s Housing & Land Use Committee, during her first week in the newly created city post.

Bass began engaging with BizFed leaders to identify pressing business community needs months before she was elected. During her campaign, she frequently cited employment data that revealed small businesses account for nearly half the jobs in the city. Small businesses now represent 99% of the businesses that have opened in the city of Los Angeles since 2022.